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Montpelier Pop Culture

Rhapsodizing about falling leaves, bends in the road and ski trails down a mountainside, the 1943 song “Moonlight in Vermont” hints at Montpelier’s Green Mountain allure. But it’s really the quirky, catchy albums of Phish, members of which attended nearby Goddard College in the 1980s that provide the most apt soundtrack to life in a city sometimes called Montpeculiar. For something a bit smoother, dip into Sweet Days & Beyond, a nonfiction account of life on a sugar maple farm by local legend Burr Morse. Though Vermont author Howard Frank Mosher lives closer to Canada, in the Northeast Kingdom, many of his works—including Disappearances, A Stranger in the Kingdom and Where the Rivers Flow North—capture what life is like in this part of the world. Filmmaker Jay Craven turned Disappearances into a film starring Kris Kristofferson; other movies worth watching before a visit are 1982’s Baby Boom, which features Diane Keaton as a Vermont newcomer and Man With a Plan, a 1996 chronicle of 72-year-old farmer-turned-politician Fred Tuttle’s race for Congress. Finally, The Summer of Walter Hacks, released in 2010, depicts life on a Waterbury Center dairy farm in the 1950s.